Impeachment Resolution Introduced at the RNC

Seven long and disastrous years into the criminal reign over the nation by America’s first dictator, Barack Hussein Obama, five years after Republicans gained control of the House and a year after Republicans seized control of the US Senate, Obama remains in power, on track to destroy the USA and unaccountable for his many crimes…

The GOP touts a beautiful set of principles and values that they never live up to… The Michigan GOP has even posted those principles in Arabic, as Michigan is fast becoming the Mecca of America under Republican leadership.

The GOP web site asks all GOP voters to sign a petition, to “take the oath to defend the Constitution” by signing a pledge posted on the GOP site… an oath that every Republican member of Congress has taken upon entering office… That GOP call to action reads as follows:

“When Members of Congress are sworn into office, they take an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Stand up and take the oath:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion . . . So help me God.”

Yet as of today, not one Republican in Congress has stood up to keep their oath.

Since 2009, millions of American conservatives have been actively working in Tea Party and Patriot groups to force federal government back towards conservative constitutional foundations, based on the same principles and values espoused by the do-nothing GOP. But no matter how many Republicans they elect and send to DC, nothing changes, Obama’s crimes continue unabated.

The people have had enough at this point… and they are finally ready to take matters into their own hands and force their elected servants to keep their oath, to hold Obama accountable and turn this country around, or be held accountable themselves for failing to do so.

In July of 2014, The North American Law Center (TNALC.org) made public their proposed Articles of Impeachment against Barack Hussein Obama, a combined 48 criminal charges under three Articles…

  • ARTICLE I – Usurpation of the Oval Office via criminal identity fraud
  • ARTICLE II – Malfeasance, misconduct and abuse of the Oval Office
  • ARTICLE III – Aiding and Abetting known enemies of the United States

Since then, House Republicans who have publicly stated their support for Impeachment, and even some who have directly committed to advance TNALC Articles of Impeachment, like Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas and Rep. Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee, have done absolutely nothing to hold Obama accountable for the many impeachable crimes of his administration.

The Constitutional Accountability Coalition (CAC) in 29 states, focused entirely upon advancing the TNALC Articles, has been hosting a weekly BTR event to muster support for the Impeachment of Obama.

Now, Republican National Committee member David Agema from Michigan has introduced the linked  Resolution in Support of Proper Articles of Impeachment at the national level, similar to a GOP Resolution currently traveling at the county and district level through CAC groups in 29 states.

Agema, a former Air Force fighter pilot, has become as fed up with do-nothing Republicans in a party he has supported all his life, just like millions of Americans in mass exodus from their beloved GOP after the past six years of incompetence and cowardice demonstrated by every Congressional Republican in office today.

The first response from fellow RNC members came from an Arizona RNC Member who immediately advised Agema that he will not support any action to hold Obama accountable without marching orders from Reince Priebus and Speaker Paul Ryan. He would not keep his oath unless ordered to do so by Priebus and Ryan, who have long demonstrated a lack of constitutional decency and courage themselves… and then, “he might…”

This is exactly the type of cowardice that has allowed Obama & Co. to destroy America unchallenged for the past seven years, no matter how many Republicans are elected to stop it. It is also a prime example of why millions of Americans are defecting from a feckless GOP… including Rev. Franklin Graham who recently announced he was leaving a party that no longer represents Republican voters, principles or values.

Agema’s Resolution in Support of Impeachment will be a center point of the next RNC meeting on January 13, 2016. The people cannot sit back and allow this true patriot to fight this battle alone in the RNC, facing stiff opposition from both Priebus and Ryan, who remain committed to the path of Boehner and McConnell…. As the party is in free fall.

It isn’t any Democrat who is blocking the proper impeachment of the most impeachable administration in US history…. IT IS REPUBLICANS, ALL OF THEM!

People who want to support the Agema Resolution need to contact their own State GOP RNC Representatives between now and January 13 to make certain that Agema is not left standing alone in the ongoing battle for constitutional accountability.

Nothing good is going to happen in this country until “the people” take action and make it happen. Left to their own devices, Congressional Republicans are going to do the same as they have done for the past seven years, NOTHING THAT MATTERS, while they beg for your money and votes in yet another worthless election cycle.

Until we hold someone accountable, no one is accountable for anything! Until we uphold and enforce the US Constitution, we don’t have a Constitution worthy of mention…

New York Lawyer in terrorism case: ‘Finding unbiased jurors will be tough because of Trump’s comments’

New York City? This unnamed lawyer thinks that New York City has become a seething hotbed of frothing Islamophobia because of Donald Trump? 9/11 didn’t do it, but a few remarks from The Blowhard-In-Chief, and they’re building a concentration camp on Roosevelt Island?

This lawyer shows the utterly ridiculous lengths to which the Muslim victimhood industry is willing to go in order to deflect attention away from the grim reality of jihad terror. Minh Quang Pham, a convert to Islam, is accused of supporting al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, and his lawyer is whining about Donald Trump. If this legal eagle really wants to know who is responsible for “inciting public fear of Muslims,” if there really is any such fear, the names Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Syed Rizwan Farook, Tashfeen Malik, Nidal Malik Hasan, and a host of others like them spring to mind. But talking about them won’t get Minh Quang Pham sprung.

Minh-Quang-Pham_74

Minh Quang Pham

“Lawyer in terrorism case says finding unbiased jurors will be hard because of Trump’s comments,” Associated Press, December 30, 2015:

NEW YORK – A lawyer for a man accused in a New York terrorism case is arguing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s call for a ban on Muslim immigration into the United States will make it difficult to find unbiased jurors.

Minh Quang Pham is expected to go on trial in federal court in February. The Vietnamese man has pleaded not guilty to supporting al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

A 2012 indictment accuses him of traveling from the United Kingdom to Yemen in 2010 and receiving training from al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

Pham’s lawyer argues in court papers Trump’s statements have become “a rallying cry inciting public fear of Muslims.”…

RELATED ARTICLE: Survey shows Jew-hatred rises with Muslim religiosity

Democrats Move to Criminalize Criticism of Islam

In FrontPage today I explain how lumping together violence with “hateful rhetoric” is a call to destroy the freedom of speech:

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December 17, 2015 ought henceforth to be a date which will live in infamy, as that was the day that some of the leading Democrats in the House of Representatives came out in favor of the destruction of the First Amendment. Sponsored by among others, Muslim Congressmen Keith Ellison and Andre Carson, as well as Eleanor Holmes Norton, Loretta Sanchez, Charles Rangel, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Joe Kennedy, Al Green, Judy Chu, Debbie Dingell, Niki Tsongas, John Conyers, José Serrano, Hank Johnson, and many others, House Resolution 569 condemns “violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States.” The Resolution has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

That’s right: “violence, bigotry and hateful rhetoric.” The implications of those five words will fly by most people who read them, and the mainstream media, of course, will do nothing to elucidate them. But what H. Res. 569 does is conflate violence — attacks on innocent civilians, which have no justification under any circumstances – with “bigotry” and “hateful rhetoric,” which are identified on the basis of subjective judgments. The inclusion of condemnations of “bigotry” and “hateful rhetoric” in this Resolution, while appearing to be high-minded, take on an ominous character when one recalls the fact that for years, Ellison, Carson, and his allies (including groups such as the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations, CAIR) have been smearing any and all honest examination of how Islamic jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to incite hatred and violence as “bigotry” and “hateful rhetoric.” This Resolution is using the specter of violence against Muslims to try to quash legitimate research into the motives and goals of those who have vowed to destroy us, which will have the effect of allowing the jihad to advance unimpeded and unopposed.

That’s not what this H. Res. 569 would do, you say? It’s just about condemning “hate speech,” not free speech? That kind of sloppy reasoning may pass for thought on most campuses today, but there is really no excuse for it. Take, for example, the wife of Paris jihad murderer Samy Amimour – please. It was recently revealed that she happily boasted about his role in the murder of 130 Paris infidels: “I encouraged my husband to leave in order to terrorize the people of France who have so much blood on their hands […] I’m so proud of my husband and to boast about his virtue, ah la la, I am so happy.” Proud wifey added: “As long as you continue to offend Islam and Muslims, you will be potential targets, and not just cops and Jews but everyone.”

Now Samy Amimour’s wife sounds as if she would be very happy with H. Res. 569, and its sponsors would no doubt gladly avow that we should stop offending Islam and Muslims – that is, cut out the “bigotry” and “hateful rhetoric.” If we are going to be “potential targets” even if we’re not “cops” or “Jews,” as long as we “continue to offend Islam and Muslims,” then the obvious solution, according to the Western intelligentsia, is to stop doing anything that might offend Islam and Muslims – oh, and stop being cops and Jews. Barack “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam” says it. Hillary “We’re going to have that filmmaker arrested” Clinton says it. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, certain that anyone who speaks honestly about Islam and jihad is a continuing danger to the Church, says it.

And it should be easy. What offends Islam and Muslims? It ought to be a simple matter to cross those things off our list, right? Making a few sacrifices for the sake of our future of glorious diversity should be a no-brainer for every millennial, and everyone of every age who is concerned about “hate,” right? So let’s see. Drawing Muhammad – that’s right out. And of course, Christmas celebrations, officially banned this year in three Muslim countries and frowned upon (at best) in many others, will have to go as well. Alcohol and pork? Not in public, at least. Conversion from Islam to Christianity? No more of that. Building churches? Come on, you’ve got to be more multicultural!

Everyone agrees. The leaders of free societies are eagerly lining up to relinquish those freedoms. The glorious diversity of our multicultural future demands it. And that future will be grand indeed, a gorgeous mosaic, as everyone assures us, once those horrible “Islamophobes” are forcibly silenced. Everyone will applaud that. Most won’t even remember, once the jihad agenda becomes clear and undeniable to everyone in the U.S. on a daily basis and no one is able to say a single thing about it, that there used to be some people around who tried to warn them.

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A Victory In Lawfare

This has not been a good year.  From the start of January when gunmen walked into the offices of Charlie Hebdo to last month when suicide bombers walked into a concert hall in the same city, the terror and bloodshed may have returned to France but in the meantime it circled the entire globe.  From California to Tunisia and Texas to Mosul this year has been one of atrocities and barbarism of a scale almost too appalling to consider.

At the same time our politicians have struggled to even get some consensus on what to do about the human tide which has flowed across the continent and begun a process of change which will take decades to play out.  In the Middle East we have prevaricated and then patted ourselves on the back for doing little and late.  In the international arena we have seen Vladimir Putin begin to look like a world leader, while the President of the United States has been reduced to something like a global commentator. Everywhere the world looks more unstable and uncertain and the future more troubling than it has at any year’s end for a long time.

In such a situation one has to look for points of light.  One such point came this week in a small but important victory in the UK.  It is a year and a half since David Cameron ordered a review into the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK.  Since the conclusion of that report’s findings and its writing-up earlier this year the Brotherhood has three times tried to stop the report’s findings from being released.  They have attempted injunctions in March, in the summer and then again this week, just one day before the publication of the findings, though not the full report.

That such an organisation can even think of being able to use the British courts to silence the British government says much about why the global battle against Islamic extremism is going backwards.  But the UK government won out and its findings are immensely helpful to pushing back the tide of extremism at home.  While deciding that the Brotherhood does not meet the level of violence required to justify outright proscription it does find that the group is one that possibly leads to extremism and that new measures should therefore be put in place to tackle those groups and individuals associated with the movement.

When the review began a team of our top researchers at HJS were invited in to give evidence about the activities of the Brotherhood in the UK and in Europe.  It was a great pleasure and honour to do so and to be able to name some of those who have been named and identified in the final report’s conclusions.  This makes the fight against the group’s affiliates in the UK very significantly easier.  Much of the challenge in this area in recent years has been fighting to ensure that extremist groups are identified as such by the authorities so that it cannot be lowered to a ‘he-says, she-say’ debate between non-governmental organisations.

Much more will be needed to turn events around globally, but keeping our own stable clean in the UK and Europe is a very important part of changing around that global tide.  This is a very long conflict, and although the set-backs can be swift, progress is always arduous.  Nevertheless, some progress there is and for that we can at least reflect on a year which has ended with a modest victory.


mendozahjsFROM THE DIRECTOR’S DESK  

This week, yet another bit of hope in the world was extinguished by the Obama Administration. In this case, that the USA would attempt to stick by some principles – as well as sound strategic sense – in its decision making over Syria.

Speaking in Moscow following a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, US Secretary of State John Kerry uttered the fatal words that “The United States and our partners are not seeking so-called regime change” in Syria. In short, that the Butcher of Damascus, Bashar al-Assad, could stay in power after all, and despite both destroying his country and occasioning the rise of Islamic State through his murderous behaviour.

This is disappointing, but not surprising. The Obama Administration has after all flunked pretty much every foreign policy test thrown at it, ranging from Russia in Ukraine to the Iranian nuclear agreement.

But it is also a decision that will have serious consequences going forwards. If our declared intention is to defeat Islamic State by bringing the remaining non-jihadist forces together in a political settlement, then keeping Mr Assad will make that harder, not easier to achieve. Syrian rebels who have spent the past few years seeking his removal on account of his dictatorship will not now suddenly rush to embrace him, although they could have been persuaded to ally with Assad’s regime minus a few figureheads. Instead, they will continue their struggle, even if it looks ever more forlorn.

Assad has become a symbol of oppression. And in acquiescing to that symbol’s survival, the US has betrayed its principles as a bastion of liberty in the world. You can be certain that Islamic State will use this declaration to pump propaganda material out to its Muslim targets in the West, entreating them to join its jihad because the Western powers have shown they are happy to tolerate repression.

But the true victors from this policy shift will be the Iranian revolutionary regime. Assad’s dependency on Iran is well-established. If his regime wins, then so does Iran. And if Iran wins in Syria, it will be able to extend its push for dominance in the region through territorial control linking Lebanon to Iran through a direct land corridor that will take in Syria and a Shia dominated Iraqi state. Which will be bad for Western allies in the region, and ultimately for the West itself.

Congratulations therefore to President Obama and Mr Kerry. It is a rare feat to be both strategically shortsighted and morally bereft. But they have managed it and in some style.

Dr Alan Mendoza is Executive Director of The Henry Jackson Society
Follow Alan on Twitter: @AlanMendoza

FLORIDA: Patients who own guns are protected — 11th Curcuit rules in their favor

Anti-gun doctors in in the Sunshine State may be feeling a little queasy after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11thCircuit handed them a third straight loss in their ongoing challenge to a Florida law designed to protect patients from harassing and unwarranted grilling about firearm ownership. Should these symptoms persist, the physicians should note they have a simple and foolproof remedy: simply refrain from using the doctor-patient relationship to advance a non-medical ideological and political agenda.

The plaintiffs in the case, Wollschlaeger v. Gov. of Fla., assert that their First Amendment rights are being violated because the law prohibits them from documenting or inquiring into patients’ firearm ownership or harassing or discriminating against patients who own firearms. The law provides exceptions, however, for situations in which the doctors believe, in good faith, the actions are “necessary” or “relevant to the patient’s medical care or safety, or the safety of others.”

As we detailed earlier this year, the 11th Circuit has already issued two opinions against the plaintiffs. The original opinion characterized the regulated behavior more as conduct – i.e., medical practice – than pure speech. On its own initiative, the court later revisited that determination and revised the earlier opinion with a more detailed analysis of the law’s First Amendment implications. The second opinion held that even to the degree the law regulates speech protected by the First Amendment, the state has sufficient justification to curtail it. The court took into account the nature and context of the speech, the interests advanced by the law, and the law’s limited scope.

Following publication of the second opinion, however, the 11th Circuit asked the parties to submit further written arguments concerning how a recent U.S. Supreme Court case, Reed v. Town of Gilbert, might affect the way the case should be analyzed. In its latest opinion, the 11th Circuit finds that Reed might require a more stringent standard of review on the First Amendment issue than was used in its second opinion, but it goes on to hold that the challenged regulations nevertheless survive that review.

The third opinion also represents a relatively rare example of a regulation surviving “strict scrutiny” analysis in the face of a constitutional challenge. Strict scrutiny requires the state to show that the law furthers a “compelling interest” and that “the Act is narrowly tailored to advance that interest.”

The compelling interest identified by the 11th Circuit is “the State’s interest in regulating the practice of professions for the protection of the public,” and the protection of Second Amendment rights and privacy in particular. “We do not hesitate to conclude,” the court writes, “that states have a compelling interest in protecting the fundamental right to keep and bear arms.”

Regarding the tailoring prong of the analysis, the court dismisses the plaintiffs’ suggestion that they are not actually interfering with Second Amendment rights. “It is of course an interference with Second Amendment rights for a trusted physician to tell his patient – for no medically relevant reason whatsoever – that it is unsafe to own a gun.” The court also explains that the law focuses on subjects that, once entered into a patient’s medical record, could be used to “harass or profile” that individual, an outcome the Florida legislature has determined is contrary to public policy.

The court goes on to note the narrow scope of the law’s actual prohibitions and emphasizes that they are subject to “physicians’ own good-faith judgments about whether such inquiry or record-keeping is medically appropriate in the circumstances of a particular case.” “[W]hat narrower way to advance [the state’s interests in protecting privacy and chilling of Second Amendment rights] could there be,” the court asks rhetorically, “than by requiring physicians to base any inquiry or record-keeping about firearm ownership on a genuine, subjective determination of medical need?”

The court also rejects the plaintiffs’ claim that the law is unconstitutionally vague, deciding its text is “sufficiently clear that a person of common intelligence need not guess as to what it prohibits.” It also reiterates that “so long as a physician is operating in good faith within the boundaries of good medical practice, and is providing only firearm safety advice that is relevant and necessary, he need not fear discipline” under the law. In other words, competent, ethical doctors will not be adversely affected.

Throughout the history of this case, anti-gun doctors and their media collaborators have been committing rhetorical malpractice by misrepresenting the law’s scope, effects, and burdens in the court of public opinion. Fortunately, in the court of law, the 11th Circuit soberly and carefully judged the law for what it is: a means to prevent abuse of the doctor-patient relationship and exploitation of medicine’s prestige to browbeat Florida residents into giving up constitutional rights.

Thus, while the 11th Circuit’s analysis has changed in its various opinions, its message to Florida doctors has been consistent: Physician, control thyself and stick to patient care, and you will have nothing to fear from this law.

Ben Carson: Designate Muslim Brotherhood and CAIR as Terror Groups

Dr. Ben Carson has become the second Republican presidential candidate to call for designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and the third to call for action against the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

CAIR has been identified by the U.S. Justice Department as an entity of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s pro-Hamas network. CAIR has also been banned as a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates (a Muslim country).

Read Clarion Project’s fully-documented profile of CAIR’s extremist background here.

Carson just announced his 7-point counter-terrorism strategy, of which the final point reads, “The Department of State should designate the Muslim Brotherhood and other organizations that propagate or support Islamic terrorism as terrorist organizations and fully investigate the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood and a supporter of terrorism.”

During this week’s national security debate, Carson mentionedsecret 1991 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood strategy memo that listed a network of its fronts inside America, including CAIR’s predecessor (the Islamic Association for Palestine). The memo defined the Brotherhood’s “work in America as a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within.” Carson warned that the Brotherhood memo said they’d use political correctness to further their Islamist agenda.

In October, Carson called on the IRS to revoke CAIR’s tax-exempt status after its “brazenly violated” the government’s 501(c)(3) non-profit regulations by formally demanding that Carson end his presidential campaign. CAIR made the declaration after Carson said he would not support a Muslim candidate for president, which he later qualified as saying he was only referring to Muslims that follow sharia law.

Carson issued a statement that accurately pointed out:

“This is not the first time that CAIR has disrespected U.S. laws or America. It has previously lost its tax-exempt status by failing to file federal taxes three years in a row. It had also been named by federal prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal conspiracy to funnel money to Hamas, a terrorist organization.”

The IRS website says that organizations that have non-profit status can inform the public about candidates and their policies, but they are prohibited from explicitly endorsing or opposing a candidate. It states (with my emphasis):

” Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity.  Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.”

CAIR’s National Executive Director Nihad Awad, who has previously expressed his support for Hamas, responded to Carson in TIME Magazine by describing CAIR as a democratic and diverse civil liberties organization. He pointed to CAIR’s endorsement of a letter against the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS/ISIL) but, of course, left out the fact that the letter endorses rebuilding the caliphate, jihad against perceived occupiers and sharia governance.

CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper insulted Carson as a “failing candidate grasping at straws and seeking payback for CAIR’s previous criticism of his anti-Muslim bigotry.”

Dr. Carson is currently in fourth place nationally in an average of polls (12%). He is in fourth place in Iowa (12%), seventh place in New Hampshire (7%) and 2nd place in South Carolina (17%); the first three states to vote in the presidential nominating process.

Rival Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz introduced legislation last month that, if passed, would have Congress formally request the designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the State Department. The legislation outlines CAIR’s links to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s fundraising network for Hamas. Cruz also described the Muslim Brotherhood as a “terrorist organization” during this week’s debate.

Cruz is currently in second place nationally (16%) in an average of polls. He is the frontrunner in Iowa (26%); in fourth place in New Hampshire (10%) and third place in South Carolina (15%).

The third GOP presidential candidate to state that he’d take on CAIR is George Pataki, who served as governor of New York during the Islamist terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Pataki told the Clarion Project in June that he would strip CAIR of its tax-exempt status as part of a policy of punishing non-profits who promote terrorist organizations or jihad against Americans. Pataki has not taken a position on designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. He is currently registering less than one percent in the GOP nomination campaign.

You can read the Clarion Project’s factsheets on each presidential candidate’s positions related to Islamist extremism here.

Watch Clarion Project’s Prof. Ryan Mauro debate a CAIR leader on Newsmax television below on whether or not CAIR is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood:

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An Open Letter to the Miami-Dade School Board

Dear Superintendent Alberto Carvalho and School Board Members,

The purpose of this letter is twofold.  It seeks your written acknowledgement that district employees have a legal right to use the Miami-Dade County Public Schools (hereinafter “M-DCPS”) e-mail and school mailboxes for formal school related business and/or matters.  Additionally, this letter is yet another, albeit more formal and direct attempt to bring to your attention the fact that the district’s tactics, as will be explained in greater detail below, relating to how teachers are treated after they sign-up to or speak at school board meetings must cease and desist for very legitimate and sensitive reasons.  In an interesting way, these issues are intertwined in that they both have legal ramifications.  Your prompt attention is greatly appreciated.

Employee Use of E-Mail

At first glance, the initial above-mentioned request may appear superfluous or even oxymoronic since it seeks approval to engage in an action for which said approval should be axiomatic.  That is, district employees are legally allowed to use district e-mail and/or mailboxes for formal school related business, such as being allowed to send e-mails or place flyers requesting and encouraging the attendance and participation of colleagues in the monthly M-DCPS Board meetings.

Notwithstanding the fact that I am fully aware that sending such e-mails and/or using school mailboxes for the stated purpose would logically fall within the scope of school business and/or school related matters, prior to proceeding, I acted with an over abundance of caution by asking my principal to grant me unequivocal clearance.  When I posed my query to her, I added that I did not want any problems with the union stewards at my school, as my actions are constantly being closely scrutinized by them in their attempts to shut me down.  Being that my principal, understandably so, also wishes to avoid having any issues with the union stewards over issues of policy, she determined that it would be most prudent for her to run the issue by Labor Relations, such that should there be an issue, it would rest with them rather than with either one of us.  I concurred.

Much to my chagrin, Labor Relations told my principal that I was precluded from using M-DCPS e-mail or mailboxes to solicit teacher attendance at school board meetings.  Further, they cited the Contract Article XXIII, Section 14. Exclusivity Rights to justify their position.

Section 14, B. Work Location Mailboxes provides:

Pursuant to Article XXIII, Section 15 of the contract, UTD representatives (i.e., UTD building stewards and Union-designated Representatives) shall be afforded access to work location mailboxes.

Section 15. Reasonable Access provides that:

Representatives of the exclusive bargaining agent shall be afforded reasonable access to information during the bargaining process and in the administration of this Contract, such as, but not limited to, access to work locations, work location mail boxes, school system mail delivery service (if legal by U.S. Postal regulations), and work location unit meetings.

But, Labor Relations either intentionally or inadvertently failed to make reference to the following two (2) Articles:

Article XXI. Section K. Freedom of Speech stating:

The Parties agree that since the Constitution of the United States guarantees every citizen the right to free speech, all UTD bargaining [and non bargaining] unit members may speak with the media without fear of reprisal.  This right of Freedom of Speech shall extend to any forum in which the employee expresses his/her opinion.  Any dispute arising under this provision will not be arbitrable [sic].

Article II. Section 1. Labor Contract Supremacy which states:

All of this Contract shall be subject to Florida Statutes, Chapter 447, including its prohibitions against strikes.  The Board further agrees that this Contract shall supersede any Board Policies in conflict with the provisions of this Contract.

Further, and with that said, we would be remiss if we failed to turn to Florida Statute 447 which trumps the Contract between the M-DCPS Board and the United Teachers of Dade.

Florida Statute 447.01(1) provides:

Because of the activities of labor unions affecting the economic conditions of the country and the state, entering as they do into practically every business and industrial practice, it is the sense of the Legislature that such organizations affect the public interests and are charged with a public use.  The working person, unionist or nonunionist, must be protected.  The right to work is the right to live.

Florida Statute 447.03 further provides:

Employees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor unions or labor organizations or to refrain from such activity, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in concerted activities, for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.

As if the foregoing would not suffice to make the point, it would be worth your while to read the attached articles.

The first article was published by Baker Hostetler is titled “National Labor Relations Board Permits Employees to Use Workplace Email System for Union Activity.” I highly recommend it for the edification of the Labor Relations employee who has inaccurately advised my principal, and is therefore, placing her, not to mention him or herself, in a position whereby my rights as an employee are being violated vis-á-vis the National Labor Relations Act (hereinafter “NLRA”).  I will highlight the following as is stated in the article:

The National Labor Relations Board previously held in Register Guard, 351 NLRB 1110 (2007) that an employer may prohibit nonwork-related use of its email system, so long as the employer does not discriminate against concerted activity.  [T]he Board overruled Register Guard and found that the employer’s policy was illegal under the National Labor Relations Act.  In doing so, [in the ruling of Purple Communications, Inc. 361 NLRB No. 126 (Dec. 11. 2014)], the Board primarily relied on an almost 70-year-old Supreme Court case, Republic Aviation, 324 U.S. 793 (1945), which found that employees had a right to solicit one another for Section 7 purposes (including union organizing) on nonworking time, absent special circumstances.  The Board found that this same rule applied to employer email systems, so that employees can presumptively use email for Section 7 purposes on noworking time, “absent a particularized showing of special circumstances regarding the employer’s need to maintain production and discipline.”

The Board emphasized that the “special circumstances” exception to justify a complete ban on nonwork email use “will be the rare case.”

Further, please note that the article goes on to advise employers as follows:

Employers should immediately review their employee handbooks and policies for rules that are inconsistent with the NLRB’s decision.  The NLRB has long held that the mere promulgation of an unlawful work rule violated the NLRA, even if the rule is never enforced against an employee.

Please note that in the instant case, as it relates to my specific query, it is not simply a matter of what is written in the Contract, but is in fact more egregious than that since a M-DCPS employee in Labor Relations claims that I do not have a legal right to use the M-DCPS’s e-mail system pursuant to the holding in  Purple Communications, Inc.  Stated more clearly, Labor Relations is actually in direct violation of the NLRA by way of precluding me from using the M-DCPS’s e-mail system to solicit employee attendance at school board meetings.

The other article was published by the Associated Press and is titled, “NLRB rules workers can use company email to organize unions.”  This brief article makes several noteworthy points as follows:

 NLRB once again elevated employee-protected activity over employer property rights.  Not only will employees now have the ability to use their work emails in their efforts to unionize or discuss terms and conditions of employment with co-workers, an employer’s communication system may also become an incredibly effective tool used to recruit members to form or join class-action cases.

Given the dire legal implications of this issue, I respectfully request that you proceed with haste and inform Labor Relations to modify their response to my principal such that it adheres with and falls within the parameters of the Act.

Workplace Coercion, Intimidation and/or Harassment

It is well documented both in video and in the written form that more than one teacher has expressed feeling coerced, intimidated and/or harassed after he or she either: (1) signed up to speak for a school board meeting; (2) after he or she actually spoke at a school board meeting; and (3) in some cases, both before and after speaking at a school board meeting.  Moreover, there is a common theme that resonates in that teachers are told by their administrators that their school is now “on the radar,” and that they (the administration) do not want to be on the School Board’s or Superintendent’s radar.  Consequently, many teachers have made, are making and will make the decision to: (1) not even contemplate signing up to attend a school board meeting; or (2) change their minds and decide not to attend and/or speak their minds at the school board meetings out of fear of retaliation or to avoid making bad blood with their administration.

Teachers know all too well of how bad it can be for them when he or she has an administrator who has it in for him or her. Yes, teachers willing and voluntarily forgo their civil liberties, which should be inalienable, and give way to being censored in exchange for being able to live in peace on a day-to-day basis at the workplace.  But, no one should directly or indirectly nor overtly or covertly infringe on anyone’s First Amendment rights – period.  This is not the price we should pay to live in peace; in fact, there is no price on that, at least not in America. Freedom is free.

Pre-Meeting Misconduct

More specifically, as it relates to teachers feeling harassed prior to speaking at school board meetings, teachers have vocalized, whether on public airwaves, through journalists or amongst each other, that after they have signed up for a school board meeting they have been subjected to one or more of the following tactics as follows:

(1) The teacher is called to the principal’s office at which point the principal explains that he or she has been called by a higher level administrator and/or the Superintendent wanting him or her to ask the teacher why he or she is going to speak at the school board meeting.  This meeting usually takes place during the school day and it is not unheard of that the teacher is actually pulled out of his or her class unexpectedly during instructional time to attend this meeting.  In case the obvious is not obvious to you, please know that most teachers do not appreciate being “called down” to the principal’s office in such an abrupt and unexpected manner.  This practice has a tendency to create high levels of anxiety in the teacher because teachers do not generally get called down to the principal’s office, and if they do, it is usually for admonishment.

(2) The teacher is paid a visit to his or her classroom while he or she is teaching and the visit is not for the purpose of a routine observation, but instead, to be grilled, in front of students, as to why he or she has signed up to speak at the upcoming school board meeting.  As with scenario (1) above, teachers feel very uncomfortable with this practice not only because it disrupts instructional time, but because it takes place in front of students.  Moreover, it creates an unreasonable sense of urgency and the teacher is psychological made to feel that he or she is the cause for the ambush-style and inappropriate communication; yet, the only “crime” committed was that the teacher merely signed up to speak at a public hearing.

(3) The teacher receives a phone call to his or her classroom during the school day and while instruction is taking place from a higher level administrator wanting to know why and for what reason he or she has signed up to speak.  Likewise, the teacher may also receive duplicate phone calls to his or her personal cell phone, as well as e-mails not by just one level administrator but often from multiple level administrators (e.g., regional superintendents and/or from other administrators) all inquiring the same.

(4) The most dreaded and intimidating of all these tactics, from a teacher’s perspective, is when a regional superintendent or the Superintendent, himself, pays a visit to the school.  It is no secret that when “downtown administrators” or the Superintendent show(s) up unexpectedly at a school site everyone, especially administration, quickly enters “on the edge” mode for the simple reason that the school is, clearly, being observed.  That means that all of the t’s need to be crossed and all the i’s dotted – but without having been afforded advanced notice to cure any irregularities with ample time since there was no warning that the visit would be forthcoming.  As a teacher, you do not want to be responsible for being the impetus for such a visit, at least not if you want your administrators to regard you fondly.

(5) It is not uncommon that the same teacher will be subjected to more than one of these practices within a period of a week.

At this juncture and as I write this, I get chills.  This resonates with the form of governance typical of dictatorships and totalitarian regimes and is reminiscent of true and personal accounts I have been told and what I have read in history books.  I digress.

Being subjected to any (1) through (5), as explained above, leaves the teacher feeling as if he or she is the one who is on the radar.  Further, teachers often express feeling hounded by all of these administrators who want to know their intentions for attending the school board meeting.  Do not take my word for it, instead watch the YouTube video titled “Attempted Intimidation, Coercion? Watch School Board Meeting of May 20, 2009!,” where two M-DCPS teachers explain the negative impact which these practices impressed upon them as employees.  Further, I want to underscore that the advice given by School Board member, Marta Perez, in the video as she requests that the Superintendent  cease and desist these practices have been blatantly ignored not to mention very tenuously justified.  As an aside, it is my hope that this letter, coupled with a re-viewing of this video, will serve as the final nails in the coffin to put an end to these practices.

Without a doubt, a “reasonable person,” which is the legal measuring stick, if you will, used to gauge whether a person, in fact, feels coerced, intimidated or harassed by a given practice or treatment in the workplace, would feel very uncomfortable after being subjected to one or all of the practices described above.  Stated differently, most employees would not voluntarily welcome any or all of these tactics.  In fact, a “reasonable person” who signs up to speak at a public hearing would most likely want to be afforded the mental, emotional, physical and intellectual sense of freedom needed to speak publicly and openly without the pressure of feeling that he or she is being closely “watched” or “monitored” by his or her immediate, or even, remote superiors and possibly subject to reprisal for doing so.  At this juncture, and to further buttress this position, note that the latter is the very reason why there are whistleblower laws protecting employees who speak out and against their employers.  Additionally, and for your perusal, I am attaching an article which was published in Seattle Business, titled “When Does a Workplace Qualify as Being Hostile?” which rather comprehensively, yet succinctly, explains that “[t]he issues and potential liability related to claims of ‘hostile work environments’ are complex and should not be ignored [by employers].”

Post-Meeting Misconduct

Without meaning to be superfluous, I also want to make clear that teachers have claimed feeling coerced intimidated and/or harassed after speaking out at a school board meeting.  In fact, that was the case in March of 2015 when a group of teachers addressed the Board on the issue of class size.  That is, after the meeting, teachers reported being subjected to (1) through (5), as explained above.  Please see the attached article which was published in the Miami Herald and is titled “Some Miami-Dade teachers say speaking out comes at a price.” When a school’s administration realizes that a specific teacher or group of teachers is or are responsible for placing the school “on the radar,” it is often the case that the teacher(s) is(are) brought in for questioning, as administration wants to prevent this(these) teacher(s) from calling the School Board’s attention to the school.  I would be remiss for failing to state that if principals do not carry out the orders of the higher level administrators and participate in the hounding of teachers, they will then be the ones subjected to the scrutiny; for this reason, although often times reluctantly, principals proceed as ordered by the district.  I know this to be a fact as told to me by a personal friend who is a former and retired regional superintendent.  Yes, fact check, this is how it is.

If you are thinking that this can all be dismissed by suggesting that all these claims are a figment of my imagination, keep reading.  Teachers have, on more than one occasion, and not just at my school, reached out to me and expressed that they have been subjected to these tactics.  They express that these practices are unwelcomed and seek my advice as to how to respond.  Most disconcerting, however, is when I hear or sense the angst in their voices or emails and text messages, respectively, and see or feel the fear in their eyes or written words, respectively.  This, clearly, has to stop.  And, for the record, do not ask me to divulgate the names of these teachers because they have asked that I keep their names confidential.

Additionally, I want to be clear, even at the risk of sounding very redundant, that the reason why I state that the foregoing statements are facts and not figments of my imagination is because I have also personally witnessed how teachers have signed up to attend school board meetings, eager to speak their minds – until one or more than one of these dreaded tactics is/are practiced on them.  It is bad enough that many teachers who want to attend meetings cannot due to familial obligations, time constraints or because it would be too onerous for them to travel to the school board meeting because of its location when compared to where they live or work.  Now, the few who can go and/or are willing to make the personal sacrifice are being pressured away in droves.  Yes, they do tell me that they are scared and that they have changed their minds – or worse.  There are the teachers who will not even sign up for the meetings because they have heard of such things, and they want to avoid calling any attention to themselves.  They will openly admit to the fear of reprisals.  They do not want an unfavorable teaching assignment the following school year nor to be moved to a school that is on the other side of town far from where they live.  And, they most certainly do not want to be told at the end of the school year that their contract will not be renewed, and that as such, they are unemployed – just because they spoke out and exercised their First Amendment rights.  These are unacceptable intended consequences.  It begs the question as to whether this was a motive for doing away with teacher tenure or Professional Service Contracts?  Shall tenure be reinstated such that teachers will feel more secure in their positions, particularly when speaking out against the flaws and wrongs perpetuated in the M-DCPS system?

I also speak from personal experience.  I, for one, had my administrators inquire as to why I had signed up to speak at the April 15, 2015 M-DCPS Board meeting.  My principal was called by Sally Alayon and/or Luis Diaz to find out.  It did not matter that I answered my administrations’ questions during a visit to my classroom, their visit was still followed by multiple phone calls from Sally Alayon, North Regional Superintendent, and Luis Diaz, Operations Director.  At the time, I made it clear that I did not need any assistance from them since I did not have any issues arising at my school site nor with my administrators, and in fact, I still do not.  As of the moment, I have a very good rapport with my administrators, and I feel that they do an excellent job in overseeing operations at our school.  I feel that the feeling is mutual.  Do not tamper with this relationship.  Moreover, the issues which I do have, I explained to all who asked, are best addressed openly and publicly since they relate to matters affecting all teachers.

Because You Asked: Ability of School Board to Address Issues that Matter

Now that you have broached the subject of what issues confound me, and possibly most teachers, and if you really must know, please know that it is the fact that when teachers do speak on matters that affect them, such as: (1) the violation of class size which results in overcrowded classrooms negatively impacting student learning and impeding teachers’ performance; (2) the lack of reliability of standardized test coupled with the fact that it robs students of instructional time and further impedes teachers’ performance;  (3) how (1) and (2) contribute to the very laughable Value Added Model which will be, allegedly (because it has not happened yet) and unrealistically used to determine teachers’ performance pay, and therefore remunerate them inequitably and unethically; and last but not least, (4) teachers’ decimated salaries and benefits – all – fall on deaf ears.  M-DCPS Board acts with impunity and lack of accountability as it continuously claims that anything and everything is either the union’s doing or is attributed to the Legislature’s shortcomings.  And, if that is, in fact, the case, then there is the legitimate and timely question which I posed publicly last month in the October school board meeting.

Perhaps the moment is ripe to pose the question:  What then, is the purpose of the M-DCPS Board and has it run its course?  Should teachers respectfully demand that we receive more from the Board than merely those  electronic newsletters, provided for at taxpayers’ expense and which usually go unread, wherein the Board displays photo ops showing the accolades earned at the school level and for which the Board did not materially contribute to since the manifestation of those accomplishments result from the hard work of administrators, teachers, students and parents?  Can’t those photo ops just be placed on the schools’ newsletters and trim the Board’s budget as you do to teachers’ salaries?  Perhaps if the Board implemented austere economic measures even handedly and commensurate with the ones the Board has imposed on teachers’ salaries, claiming insufficient funding, then perhaps the Board may also find time for more political activism, which better suits the Board, as Board members are political elected officials not socialites.  More specifically, the Board could spend time addressing the shortcomings of the Legislature which are brining teachers to their knees financially – according to you.  But, who is the Board kidding?  Well-informed teachers know that funding from the State of Florida per student has been abundant and has even increased with each passing year for most of the past decade – interestingly, the same span of time during which teachers’ salaries have been decimated through the reckless and negligent salary negotiations of the United Teachers of Dade Union, which rather than refute the claims made by the Board, that there is insufficient funding, acquiesces and panders to the Board’s political and economic agenda instead of aggressively representing the financial interests of its membership and all teachers alike.  I am also alluding to the fact that the better measure of austerity would be to simply dismantle the Board such that the real stakeholders in education who are the administrators, teachers, students and parents can take center stage once and for all and not only stand to earn more financially but also better manage M-DCPS.  If we, those in the trenches, were left in charge, it would free up thousands of dollars in administrative salaries and overhead which is for not, as the Board has openly and publicly admitted itself, whether individually or collectively, many times over.

The bottom line is that even when it appears that the Board is listening to us attentively, our concerns are never addressed, much to the contrary, they fade into the airwaves after they echo the walls of the auditorium where the school board meetings take place.  And if they are addressed, when a public speaker’s  three (3) minutes are up, the Board engages in a controlled message monologue which usually supplants, as well as misrepresents and distorts the facts made by the previous public speaker while giving him or her no opportunity to rebut or further clarify the often erroneous and self-serving Board member’s misstatements.  It is very frustrating and leaves the public speaker feeling impotent to address any wrongs.  And how can I say this with such certainty, you may ask.  Simply put, from the numerous times that I have personally addressed issues at a school board meetings none of them have ever been addressed, and if they have, it has been as I described.  Which makes a “reasonable person” question the sincerity and true motives of the above-mentioned tactics, (1) through (5), and whether they are really being carried out with the intention of wanting to address teachers’ concerns?  At times, many of us even wonder whether you listen to us as we speak at school board meetings because it is not uncommon that while a public speaker attempts to engage the Board, its Board members are either on the phone, interacting with their cell phones or simply sneak out through the back doors.  The public which is listening on the radio cannot see this nor can those watching the Board meeting on television since the cameras only focus on the public speaker speaking at the podium; those in the audience who are watching the School Board meeting, in person, however, can attest to what I just said.  Going forward, I suggest that there should be a split screen view of the meeting.

Conclusion

In the interest of equity and for the sake of following the rule of law, I respectfully request the M-DCPS Board agree to the following in an open acknowledgement:

(1) M-DCPS employees shall be allowed to use district email for purposes of soliciting the attendance of colleagues at M-DCPS Board meetings and/or for any and every other work related purposes; and

(2) employees who sign-up to speak at M-DCPS board meetings will be free of any of the above-mentioned tactics which have not only been brought to your attention previously, on multiple occasions and through multiple forms of media but which are also deemed to be coercive, intimidating and/or harassing as thoroughly explained herein.

I thank you for your time and mindful attention to these issues.   I look forward to a timely and written reply in the very near future acknowledging that teachers, in time for the November school board meeting,  may use the district e-mail’s system to solicit attendance and will be left in peace to do just that, including after they sign-up and/or speak at the school board meeting.  Please, do not ignore my letter, as no one appreciates being dismissed.  Remember, “Values Matter!”

Very Respectfully,

Thais M. Alvarez

cc:        Annette H. Weissman, Principal, Sunny Isles Beach K-8
Sally Alayon, North Regional Superintendent
Luis Diaz, Director of Operations

The First Amendment Could Break the Grip of Government Unions by Charles W. Baird

On January 11, 2016, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. It will be one of the Court’s most consequential cases this term. A decision in favor of Rebecca Friedrichs, a California public school teacher, could begin to undo the catastrophic damage caused by the widespread unionization of government employees in the 1960s and 1970s.

Municipal bankruptcies, state insolvencies, decaying public education, political corruption, and attacks on the freedom of speech and freedom of association of government employees are only the most visible wreckage of that disastrous mistake.

The question before the Court is whether forcing government employees to pay dues to a government employee union is a violation of the First Amendment.

In the Abood decision (1977), the Supreme Court sanctioned such coercion. Government workers could be forced to pay for the collective bargaining activities of the unions that represent them, but, the majority held, they could not be forced to pay that portion of dues unions use directly for political advocacy, as that would violate their right to free speech.

In his concurring opinion, Justice Lewis Powell warned the Court that there is no “basis … for distinguishing ‘collective bargaining activities’ from ‘political activities’ so far as the interests protected by the First Amendment are concerned. Collective bargaining in the public sector is ‘political’ in any meaningful sense of the word.”

In Abood, the majority disregarded Powell’s concern. But in Friedrichs, the Court will have to reconsider Powell’s insight that collective bargaining in the government sector is inherently political. The wages, salaries, and other conditions of government employment are political questions: they directly affect voters, taxpayers, and the actions of government agencies. Therefore, no employee should be forced to pay dues or fees for government sector collective bargaining.

If the Court finally agrees with Powell, no union will be able to force any government employee to pay union dues or fees for anything. This will shut down the vicious cycle whereby government unions collect forced tribute from government workers and then use it to help pro-union politicians obtain and maintain political power — who then empower and enrich the government employee unions.

The California Teachers Association (CTA) is panicked by the possibility of losing this case. It’s been showing this PowerPoint presentation throughout the state to try to prod its sympathizers to counterattack. It begs for ideas for “next steps and timelines necessary for CTA to respond to the impact of a negative rulings [sic].”

At the end of the presentation, the CTA finally does what it should have alwayshad to do: It considers how it might do a better job of convincing teachers that union membership is worthwhile. Forced dues and fees make it unnecessary for unions to justify themselves to their captive members.

The unions’ main argument in support of forced dues and fees is the chimerical “free rider” problem. They argue that, under the principle of “exclusive representation,” certified unions must represent all government employees, and if any of those workers did not pay dues and fees, they would receive the benefits of union representation for free. That would be unfair.

But this argument raises a more fundamental question: Why should government unions represent any workers who are not their voluntary members? Without exclusive representation, there could be no free riders. Without free riders, there is no case for compulsory union dues — political or otherwise.

Exclusive representation is not before the Court in this case, but if forced dues and fees in government employment are forbidden, exclusive representation itself may be challenged. After all, forcing anyone to accept the representation of an unwanted union as a condition of government employment seems clearly to violate that worker’s freedom of association. I look forward to such a case.

Charles W. BairdCharles W. Baird

Charles Baird is a professor of economics emeritus at California State University at East Bay.

He specializes in the law and economics of labor relations, a subject on which he has published several articles in refereed journals and numerous shorter pieces with FEE.

EPA’s ‘Covert Propaganda’ Campaign to Sell Its Water Rule Explained

Covert propaganda” is something you’d expect from a foreign spy agency not from EPA. Yet that’s what the Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluded in a report on the agency’s efforts to sell its water rule– Waters of the United States (WOTUS), The New York Times reports:

Federal agencies are allowed to promote their own policies, but are not allowed to engage in propaganda, defined as covert activity intended to influence the American public. They also are not allowed to use federal resources to conduct so-called grass-roots lobbying — urging the American public to contact Congress to take a certain kind of action on pending legislation.

As it promoted the Waters of the United States rule, also known as the Clean Water Rule, the E.P.A. violated both of those prohibitions, a 26-page legal opinion signed by Susan A. Poling, the general counsel to the G.A.O., concluded in an investigation requested by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

“E.P.A. appealed to the public to contact Congress in opposition to pending legislation in violation of the grass-roots lobbying prohibition,” the report says.

bloomberg_ginamccarthy_senate_testify_1600px

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. Photo credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg.

The story came on the radar earlier this year when EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy bragged to a Senate Committee about the outpouring of public support for its (then) proposed water rule:

We have received over 1 million comments and 87.1 percent of those comments we have counted so far… are supportive of this rule.

As I wrote in May, The New York Times told us how that outpouring of support came about; EPA drummed it up.

Led by Tom Reynolds, the agency’s top communications adviser, EPA fired up its propaganda machine to counter critics of WOTUS—farmersranchers, home builders, the golf industry, and other businesses–who pointed out how the rule will empower federal bureaucrats to regulate “wetlands, intermittent streams, ephemeral steams (those that only flow after a rainfall or snowmelt) , and man-made bodies of water like ditches, ponds, and canals,” federalize local land use decisions, and make it even harder to build things in America.

One cog in that machine was social media. In September 2014, the agency used social media tool Thunderclap to push pro-WOTUS messages on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.

EPA’s Thunderclap campaign said, “Clean water is important to me. I support EPA’s efforts to protect it for my health, my family, and my community,” and included a link to an EPA webpage (now unavailable) that directed the public to submit comments on the draft regulation. The effort reached 1.8 million people.

EPA WOTUS Thunderclap social media campaign

GAO determined that EPA’s use of Thunderclap was a “covert propaganda” campaign and broke the law. EPA pushed pro-WOTUS messages without properly disclosing that the agency was the author of the messages:

While EPA’s role was transparent to supporters who joined the campaign, this does not constitute disclosure to the 1.8 million people potentially reached by the Thunderclap. To those people, it appeared that their friend independently shared a message of his or her support for EPA and clean water.

In addition, the Thunderclap campaign appears to have violated the spirit of internal EPA policy. A 2010 memo on indirect lobbying from EPA’s general counsel states:

EPA employees may not explicitly or implicitly encourage the public to contact Congress in support of, or opposition to, a legislative proposal, nor explicitly encourage the public to contact state or local governments for that purpose.

EPA’s Thunderclap campaign asked the public to leave comments in support of WOTUS, which EPA Administrator McCarthy then referenced in testimony before Congress to claim overwhelming public support for the controversial rule.

Not only was EPA caught producing propaganda, GAO also found the agency engaged in inappropriate grassroots lobbying of Congress, The Times reports:

The agency is also said to have violated the anti-lobbying law when one of its public affairs officers, Travis Loop, wrote a blog post saying he was a surfer and did not “want to get sick from pollution.” That post included a link button to an advocacy group that discussed the danger that polluted water posed to surfers and, at least at one point, also included text that said “Take Action,” telling the public to “tell Congress to stop interfering with your right to clean water.”

It’s bad enough that EPA is engaging in such unprecedented regulatory overreach by crafting WOTUS, but its aggressive (and illegal) advocacy of it shows how out-of-control that agency is.

As for Tom Reynolds, who spearheaded EPA’s illegal WOTUS communications efforts, he got a promotion and is now working on climate issues in the White House.

RELATED ARTICLE: Report: EPA Broke Federal Law With ‘Covert Propaganda’ on Social Media

How Affirmative Action Backfires by Richard Sander

Affirmative action is before the Supreme Court again this week, as it rehears arguments in Fisher v. University of Texas. (I’ve discussed the legal issues in Fisher here.)

But perhaps the most important question about racial preferences is one that’s not directly raised by the case: do they even work? Do they help underrepresented minorities to achieve their goals, and foster interracial interaction and understanding on elite campuses? Or do large preferences often “mismatch” students in campuses where they will struggle and fail?

Scholars began empirically studying the mismatch issue in the 1990s, but in the past five years the field has matured. There are now dozens of careful, peer-reviewed studies that find strong evidence of mismatch.

None of the authors of these studies claim that mismatch is a universal or inevitable consequence of affirmative action. But in my view, only demagogues (of which there is, unfortunately, no shortage) or people who haven’t read the relevant literature can still claim that mismatch is not a genuine problem.

It is helpful to think about mismatch as three interrelated phenomena that could affect a student of any race — let’s call her Sally — who receives a large admissions preference, so that she attends a college where her level of academic preparation is substantially below that of her peers.

First, “learning mismatch” occurs if Sally learns less than she would at a less competitive school, because the pace is too fast or her professors are pitching their material at a level that’s not ideal for her.

Others and I have argued that learning mismatch occurs on a massive scale in American law schools, where African-Americans (and some other students) tend to receive very large preferences and then, very often, are never able to practice law because they cannot pass bar exams.

Our best estimate is that only about one-third of black students who start law school in America successfully graduate and pass the bar exam on their first attempt (see my September 2006 blog post here).

A second form of mismatch — “competition” mismatch — occurs when students abandon particular fields, or college itself, because of the practical and psychological effects of competing with better-prepared students.

Suppose that Sally dreams of becoming a chemist, does very well in a standard high school chemistry course, and receives a preference into an elite school where most of her classmates have taken AP Chemistry. Even if Sally does not experience “learning” mismatch, she may nonetheless end up with a B- or a C in chemistry simply because of the strength of the competition.

A long line of studies (e.g., this excellent study by two psychologists) have shown that students receiving large preferences, facing these pressures, tend to abandon STEM fields in large numbers. Competition mismatch thus appears to have large and damaging effects on the number of African-Americans, in particular, graduating with science or engineering degrees.

The third type of mismatch — “social mismatch” — is in some ways the most intriguing.

Several studies have now found that college students are much more likely to form friendships with students who have similar levels of academic preparation or performance at college. The phenomenon operates even within racial groups, but when a college’s preferences are highly correlated with race (as they are at many elite schools), social mismatch can lead to self-segregation by minority students.

The result is decreased social interaction across racial lines. That’s particularly relevant to the Supreme Court’s deliberations because its tolerance of racial preferences has been based on the idea that a diverse racial campus promotes interracial contact and learning.

But if preferences promote substantial social mismatch, then race-conscious admissions actually decrease interracial contact and learning — not only at the school where the preferences are used, but also at the college that the preferenced minority student would have attended in the absence of preferences.

Of course, new studies of higher education come out all the time, and one can point to some study to argue almost any point. What makes the evidence of mismatch so compelling is the large number of very high-quality studies that have appeared in the past few years, performed by a wide array of scholars and appearing in the strongest academic journals that exercise the most stringent peer review.

For example, the highly-respected Journal of Economic Literature last year commissioned two economists to summarize the state of research on higher education mismatch. To ensure an impartial study, the two economists JEL selected started out with different views of mismatch: one was a skeptic, the other the author of research that had found evidence of mismatch. JEL also asked seven other economists, again representing a wide range of perspectives, to peer review the article when it was drafted.

The resulting article is circumspect, but unequivocal in finding that much of the evidence on mismatch (especially in law school and the sciences) is compelling.

The American Economic Review — one of the three or four top journals in the social sciences — also recently announced that it is publishing a comprehensive study of mismatch in the sciences. It takes advantage of an unusually large database from eight campuses of the University of California, covering the period before and after California voters, through Prop 209, made it illegal to consider of race in public college admissions.

The study could thus examine how UC students who, through racial preferences, attended the most elite UC campuses before Prop 209 compared with very similar students who attended less elite campuses after Prop 209.

Peter Arcidiacono, Esteban Aucejo, and Joseph Hotz conclude unequivocally: “We find less-prepared minority students at top-ranked campuses would have higher science graduation rates had they attended lower-ranked campuses.”

The gold standard for empirical research is a genuine experimental design, where a group of subjects are randomly assigned to “treatment” and “control” groups. While random experiments are routine in medical research, they are still uncommon in the social sciences. A revealing study of that kind was recently conducted by three economists working with the Air Force Academy. 

Based on other work, the researchers hypothesized that students entering the Academy with relatively weak academic preparation would learn more and do better if they were assigned to squadrons with particularly academically strong cadets, thus creating opportunities for mentoring and tutoring. The Academy agreed to do a large randomized experiment, assigning some of the targeted students to the experimental squadrons with strong peers, and other students to “control” groups comprised of more typical students.

Again, the results were unequivocal: academically weak students in the experimental group learned less and got worse grades. Having much stronger students in the same squadron increased the weaker students’ tendency to form study groups with other weak students — a strong demonstration of “social mismatch.”

All this impressive research — and much more in a similar vein — has had little impact upon educational institutions. Even though many educational leaders will admit in private that the research is compelling, they believe that any public admission that racial preferences are counterproductive would be met with the sort of campus reaction that routinely drives college presidents from office.

For the same reason, university presidents and other educational leaders aggressively block the release of information vital to mismatch research — data which could, for example, help determine the border between small, safe preferences and large, harmful ones.

All of this should give the Supreme Court pause in assessing racial preferences. Past Court decisions have invoked a traditional deference to the independence of educational institutions. But colleges and universities have demonstrated that they are politically incapable of acting as good fiduciaries for their most vulnerable students.

A version of this post first appeared at the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

Richard Sander
Richard Sander

Richard Sander is an economist and law professor at UCLA, where he has taught since 1989.

RELATED ARTICLE: ‘Mismatched’ black students pay the price of affirmative action – The Boston Globe

Lawsuit Challenges Constitutionality of Federal Muslim Refugee Program

We told you about the hunt for a brave governor willing to defend the Constitution here last Thursday.  The hunt continues.

States like Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky and others, CAN stop refugee resettlement in their states.

ERin Mersino

In case you haven’t seen the article, Breitbart reported last week, that the Thomas Moore Law Center has been working since June on a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of the federal refugee program as it is being implemented in states like Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama and others.

Erin Mersino, senior trial lawyer from the public interest firm, the Thomas Moore Law Center will talk about this on the Ralph Bristol radio show, Monday December 7th at 9:05 A.M. EST/ 8:05 CST.

The Thomas More Law Center defends and promotes America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and moral values, including the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life. It supports a strong national defense and an independent and sovereign United States of America. The Law Center accomplishes its mission through litigation, education, and related activities. It does not charge for its services.

They will represent your state at no charge.

You can listen to the Ralph Bristol show and learn more about how the lawyers at the Thomas Moore Law Center are prepared to stand up to the federal government and defend your states’ rights.

Listen online to the show: http://pro.wwtn-fm.tritonflex.com/page.php?page_id=151 or tune in to WWTN, 99.7 FM.

Meanwhile, according to Michael Patrick Leahy at Breitbart, it looks like Tennessee Republican Governor Bill Haslam is not going to be that brave man.

Is yours a Wilson-Fish alternative state?  Why not see if radio programs in others of these states would do an interview with the Thomas More Law Center (if I can be so bold as to offer them!).  You need to build grassroots pressure on governors of these states (it only takes one) to be the plaintiff in this all important Constitutional test!

Alabama
Alaska
Colorado
Idaho
Kentucky
Louisiana
Massachusetts
Nevada
North Dakota
South Dakota
Tennessee
Vermont

Is this a picture of: 1.) A disgruntled employee or 2.) A dead soldier of the Islamic State?

When President Obama’s Department of Defense cannot name the enemy how can his Department of Justice?

It is really sad to see the FBI, formerly the worlds premiere investigative agency reduced by President Obama to a stumbling, bumbling risk-averse group of highly trained, frustrated men and women.

Obama and his Department of Justice (DOJ) have handcuffed these excellent agents with “rules of engagement” that, a priori, rule out establishing an investigative predicate that puts Islamic jihad attack as the most logical operational theory upon which to conduct the investigation.

Nope, not in Obama’s Islamic theater of the absurd which says:“whatever just happen with those two Muslims shooting, killing and bombing a bunch of innocent people, it had NOTHING to do with Islam.”

In the old days, good gumshoe cops would look at two killers dressed for combat, with redundant weapons and ammo, combined with deadly bombs, dedicated to Islam and simply say “well, boys, we got ourselves some Muslim terrorists,” now let’s go solve this case. As they begin their unfettered investigation based upon the most reasonable theory they would eliminate “Muslim terrorists” when the facts dictated such a decision

This is the exact opposite of how America now operates.

Today, due to the Obama restrictive and destructive “rules of investigative engagement” our law enforcement agencies have to assemble a 1000 piece terror attack jigsaw puzzle with 500 of the pieces missing from the box.

If any agents complain about the missing pieces, they are condemned by terrorist groups like CAIR, written up by their superiors, admonished by the President and ISIS laughs all the way to the Caliphate.

For the observant thinker this is “rules of engagement deja vu,” all over again. We have seen this Obama mess, the inability to see Islamic Jihad (even when it shoots us right in the face) on the battlefields of the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Down range, our war-fighters are so restricted by Obama’s Department of Defense (DOD) that elite special operators like the U.S. Navy SEALs, Army Rangers and Delta, are now required to become “experts” in drinking tea with the enemy.

Drinking tea with the enemy…and you ask why we can’t figure out what happened in San Bernardino? 

Unquestionably, GROSS INCOHERENCE.

In an effort to turn this sinking ship around, The United West and a team of experts are producing an investigative documentary about the cover-up of the shoot down of SEAL Team Six, on helicopter Extortion 17, August 6, 2011, Afghanistan. Our goal, in addition to honoring our thirty fallen heroes is to change the absurd, destructive combat “rules of engagement,” so that our war-fighters can fight wars to win!

Maybe, just maybe, our movie can even impact the absurd, destructive investigative “rules of engagement,” so that our great men and women fighting the SAME jihadis on the home front will have a better chance to win this very long and very deadly war.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook on the street is courtesy of TMZ.com. To learn more about FALLEN ANGEL: Cover-up of the Shoot Down of SEAL Team Six click here.

Texas governor threatens lawsuit against Syrian resettlement contractor

Abbott vs. Miliband!

The threat is directed at the International Rescue Committee*** headed by the former British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband. The lawsuit would pit Abbott against Miliband who came to the US in 2013 to head up the largest (financially) of the nine US resettlement contractors.

From the Houston Chronicle:

Texas health commissioner Chris Traylor issued the first lawsuit threat over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in a letter to the Dallas branch of the International Rescue Committee, which said earlier this month that it supports accepting Syrian refugees. AUSTIN – Texas officials are escalating their opposition to Syrian refugees with a new order aimed specifically at resettlement groups that have indicated they will accept people fleeing the war-torn country: change your mind or risk getting sued by the state.

miliband bananas

David Milliban, friend of George Soros and Hillary Clinton.

“We have been unable to achieve cooperation with your agency,” Traylor wrote in the letter, which was released to the Houston Chronicle late Sunday, adding that, “Failure by your organization to cooperate with the State of Texas as required by federal law may result in the termination of your contract with the state and other legal action.”

Similar letters are expected to be sent to any refugee resettlement group that takes a similar position against Gov. Greg Abbott.

Go to the Houston Chronicle for more and to see the letter.  Alas, it isn’t just Syrian Muslims going to Texas, but the state has been a target for the resettlement of large numbers of Somali and Iraqi Muslims as well.

Eight of nine major resettlement contractors operating in Texas:

Abbott may have to sue eight of the nine federal resettlement contractors (this is from Part II of my Texas trilogy of posts).  These are the nine federal resettlement contractors:

Please go to this list of subcontractors everywhere and scroll down to Texas.

Texas is the number one resettlement state in the nation! And, never forget, Democrats and the No borders agitators are working day and night to turn Red states Blue—Texas is their number one target!

Recognizing how lucrative the ‘welcoming’ Texas turf is (contractors are paid by the head to resettle refugees), eight of the nine contractors have set up shop somewhere in Texas.  The only one with no office there yet is the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society!

For more on Texas, go here to our three part series from earlier this summer.

And for much more on David Miliband and his friends in high places, click here.   Hillary adores him!

***From this post:

International Rescue Committee (secular)
(From 2012 Form 990)

Total revenue: $456,122,865
Govt. grants and contracts (including travel loan income): $332,271,151
Percent taxpayer funded: 73%
Top salary: $485,321  (this is the salary of the former CEO, but we assume Miliband is pulling down similar numbers).

RELATED ARTICLES:

Meet the State Lawmaker Who Wants to Slap $5K-a-Day Fines on Sanctuary City Officials

50 “faith leaders” pressure Ohio Governor Kasich on Syrian refugee stance

Are you in a Wilson-Fish state? ‘Zip, zero, nada’ states’ rights for you!

Is your church lobbying Congress for 100,000 Syrians to be admitted to the U.S.

Liberals in Canada change their minds: Let’s not rush into this Syrian refugee thing we promised

Impeachment is Litmus Test for New Speaker of the House

There is no debate over the fact that the Barack Hussein Obama regime is by far the most impeachable regime to ever seize and hold the people’s White House. Even most House Republicans have openly acknowledged the fact that> Obama & Co. are guilty of everything presented in the North American Law Center (TNALC) proposed Articles of Impeachment.

In fact, despite Republican propaganda on the subject, the recent sudden resignation of Speaker John Boehner may have in part, been due to growing support in the House for Impeachment. A Boehner promise to keep impeachment “off the table” may no longer be within the reach of anyone in the House.

Last week, I created and posted a flash poll for over a dozen “conservative” or Republican-leaning active Facebook groups asking, “Do you favor a litmus test for the next House Speaker, WILL YOU IMPEACH?” and the response was crystal clear…. 97% answering YES to that question. Conservative Republican voters DO want the next House Speaker to pass a litmus test agreeing to Impeach the Obama regime.

This could also explain the current internal civil war within the Republican Party over who will be the next Speaker… RNC establishment types tried to rush Boehner-lite, Kevin McCarthy into the position. But members of the House Freedom Caucus made it clear that no Boehner-lite candidate would have their support, forcing McCarthy to promptly withdraw from the race.

The RNC quickly moved to insert Republican turncoat Paul Ryan, who is also viewed by conservatives in America as at best, another Boehner-lite establishment Republican with zero conservative or constitutional intestinal fortitude.

To say the least, the Republican Party is at a crossroads in American history. A time at which they must choose to let the Grand Ole Party drift off into the abyss with the Whig Party, as a political machine that has lost its will to fight for our Constitutional Republic, or, to make a stand for the Republican form of self-governance with ‘the people,’ here and now…

But ‘the people’ are making the choice even more stark, by simply saying, no matter what you may or may not have done in the past, if you will not impeach the most impeachable regime in 240 years of American history, if treason, tyranny, treachery and traitorous acts are no longer impeachable offenses, then we no longer need a Speaker of the House, or even a do-nothing Congress for that matter.

Impeachment is the key to the Speakership of the House…

Most Congressional Republicans do not have the courage to lead on anything that actually matters, including impeachment of admittedly the most impeachable regime in U.S. history. Some will not even have the decency or courage to follow when someone else takes the lead.

In fact, many House Republicans would love you to believe that they need not keep their oath because their crystal ball tells them that Senate members will not keep their oaths.

However, unless and until House Republicans do their job by initiating impeachment proceedings in the House Judiciary Committee, Senate members have no job. It is not Senate members or congressional democrats who have blocked the impeachment of Barack Hussein Obama, it is cowardly and complicit House Republicans who have done this under the direction of Speaker John Boehner.

There are reasons why impeachment is the only peaceful constitutional solution today…

Obama controls the courts, the military, the Executive branch and up until today, even Congress. He controls the election system, with SEIU maintaining the electronic election booths, illegal aliens and dead people voting democrat in hundreds of districts. He controls the press, both mainstream and secondary outlets, including once respected Fox News.

The mountain of evidence against Obama and his evil regime is massive and growing by the hour. But there is no place in America to present that evidence other than in a televised impeachment trial, where the American people can watch as all of the evidence is presented.

If Obama is allowed to leave office other than via impeachment, all of the fraud, tyranny, treachery and yes, treason, will stand unchallenged, rendering these crimes against America no longer “impeachable offenses.”

Contrary to the false propaganda circulated about how Obama “can’t be impeached because he isn’t really a president,” and that “impeaching him will validate his presidency,” no bank robber has ever been validated by the prosecution and conviction for his crimes. This is a silly claim that can only be intended to also block impeachment and accountability for Barack Hussein Obama.

Yes, the House must impeach Barack Hussein Obama and the right time to do it is today…

This means that who the next House Speaker is will be critical to the future of this nation, freedom, liberty and the Rule of Constitutional Law.

The next Speaker must be ready to shepherd Impeachment to conviction in the Senate, and then be capable of becoming the interim President of the United States until the 2016 election.

Because Vice President Joseph Biden has been a complicit co-conspirator in all of Obama’s crimes, starting with his fraudulent seizure of White House power in 2008, Joe Biden cannot succeed Barack Obama to the Presidency…. He is a criminal co-conspirator.

Next in line for the Presidency is the House Speaker. John Boehner was also directly complicit and a co-conspirator to Obama’s many crimes. Boehner did the nation a great favor by resigning, opening a window of opportunity for “the people” to force into that position, someone who would impeach, as well as someone capable of holding the Oval Office until the 2016 elections.

This is why 97% of Facebook Conservatives have answered YES, we want impeachment to be a litmus test for the next House Speaker.

Without impeachment, every crime Obama and his henchmen have committed will stand unchallenged. Our Constitution will be gone, our Bill of Rights, gone, the Rule of Law, gone…. Our Constitutional Republic will have gasped its last breath, and “the people” will have allowed it to happen.

The people have NO RIGHT to demand House Republicans do the right thing unless they are willing to

Further, no House member has the moral authority to seek the office of Speaker today, unless they are prepared to shepherd Impeachment through to conviction and then become the next interim President.

If any American can watch these Articles of Impeachment presented by North American Law Center Lead Counsel Stephen Pidgeon and not be on board, they have no right to call themselves American, much less patriots…

In addition, the only way to stop Hillary Clinton and the democrat party in 2016 is to hold her accountable for her role at the State Department, in the crimes against the USA by the Obama regime.

Last, whoever rises to the Oval Office in the next election, will enter a dictatorship created by Barack Obama. Unless Obama is held fully accountable and his crimes are reversed via impeachment, the Constitutional Republic will not exist for whomever wins the next election.

NOW is the time for “the people” to reclaim their country… To reclaim the Speakership of the House… To hold the Obama regime fully accountable for their criminal acts… to begin the process of returning the United States to an honorable nation of self-governed people who respect the Rule of Constitutional Law and will accept no less from their elected servants…

A Constitutional Accountability Coalition has been formed in more than thirty states, supporting the TNALC Articles of Impeachment and working to force House Republicans to initiate impeachment proceedings in the House Judiciary Committee.

Many Americans are doing something that really matters…. If you are not one of them, you are not part of any solution to our Constitutional Crisis known as Barack Obama.

NOW IS THE TIME!

Lawsuit against Florida Gun Store’s “Muslim Free Zone” Dismissed

Today (November 24, 2015), a Florida federal judge granted a motion to dismiss filed by the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC), dismissing a lawsuit filed by CAIR Florida against AFLC’s client, Florida Gun Supply.

In the lawsuit, CAIR alleged that Florida Gun Supply’s refusal to equip Islamic terrorists is religious discrimination in violation of Title II of the Civil Rights Act.

On July 29th, CAIR Florida filed the lawsuit against Florida Gun Supply because its owner declared in a YouTube video that his retail gun store is a “Muslim Free Zone” following the Chattanooga, Tennessee terrorist attack in which five service members were gunned down.

The owner of the gun store, Andy Hallinan, refuses to equip the next Paris-type terrorist with dangerous firearms.  Consequently, pursuant to its official, written policy, Florida Gun Supply will not serve “[a]nyone who is either directly or indirectly associated with terrorism in any way . . .”

Despite Hallinan’s legitimate concerns about public safety—concerns which have been confirmed most recently with the deadly terrorist attacks in France and the claims by ISIS to engage in similar attacks here in the United States—CAIR Florida sued Florida Gun Supply in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, alleging religious discrimination.

AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel Robert Muise commented:

“As our motion and now the court’s ruling make clear, CAIR’s lawsuit was patently frivolous if not outright dangerous.  No firearms dealer or gun range owner for that matter should be required to sell weapons to or train anyone that the dealer or owner has reason to believe is a terrorist threat.  We all have a civic responsibility to prevent the next terrorist attack.  CAIR’s lawsuit was an effort to prevent business owners from doing so.”

In its ruling granting AFLC’s request to dismiss CAIR’s lawsuit, the court stated that it

“must agree that [CAIR] has insufficiently alleged imminent harm.  The Complaint contains only bald, conclusory allegations devoid of factual enhancement.”

The court stated further that

“the general desire of [CAIR] in this case to have Muslims able to access [Florida Gun Supply’s] shooting range someday in the future is insufficient . . .  There are simply no facts grounding the assertion that [CAIR] and/or one of its constituents will be harmed—[CAIR] has failed to allege when and in what manner the alleged injuries are going to occur.”

Consequently, because CAIR could not show any harm or injury, the court dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction.

AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel David Yerushalmi commented:

“This dismissal was yet another AFLC victory against CAIR and its jihadi lawfare against patriotic Americans across the country.  This victory follows on the heels of a recent victory against CAIR in a Michigan federal court where CAIR’s subpoenas were quashed and CAIR’s nefarious client sanctioned for abusive practices.  CAIR was born from a jihadi terrorist conspiracy, and it has done little to distance itself from those bona fides.  CAIR is on notice: if you attempt to use the courts to conduct your civilizational jihad, AFLC will be there to defend law-abiding, patriotic Americans and our nation’s national security.  We will match and defeat your civilization jihad with our constitutional lawfare in every courtroom across the nation.”